Heirs to property

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Heirs to property

My father died 35 years ago. He owned 1 piece of property which has never been sold. He willed the property to his 5 children so there are 5 heirs; 2 of the 5 heirs have argued over it for 35 years without any solution. Can 1 heir petition the court to sell the property to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps?

Asked on January 30, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, when the owners of property cannot agree as to what to do with it, one or more of the owners can bring a legal action (lawsuit), traditionally called an action "for partition" (though individual states may have different names for it) seeking a court order compelling a sale, after which any proceeds (after paying any mortgage, liens, court costs, and costs of sale) would be distributed to the owners. This action would have to be filed in the state and county in which the property is located. It can be a legally and procedurally complex action; anyone wishing to do this is advised to retain a local (in that county) attorney to help.

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